SSE plc (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy plc) is a multinational energy company headquartered in Perth, Scotland.[4][5] It is listed on the London Stock Exchange, and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. SSE operates in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

SSE plc
TypePublic limited company
FTSE 100 component
Founded1998; 24 years ago (1998)
HeadquartersPerth, Scotland, UK
Area served
United Kingdom
Republic of Ireland
Key people
Richard Gillingwater (Chairman)[1]
Alistair Phillips-Davies (CEO)[2]
ServicesPower generation and distribution, natural gas production, transportation, and distribution, telecommunications, metering
RevenueIncrease £6,826.4 million (2021)[3]
Increase £1,295.2 million (2021)[3]
Increase £2,322.8 million (2021)[3]
Number of employees
11,691 (2021)[3]
SubsidiariesSSE Thermal
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks
SSE Renewables
SSE Airtricity
Multifuel Energy Edit this at Wikidata



The company has its origins in two public sector electricity supply authorities. The former North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board was founded in 1943 to design, construct and manage hydroelectricity projects in the Highlands of Scotland, and took over further generation and distribution responsibilities on the nationalisation of the electricity industry within the United Kingdom in 1948.[6]

The former Southern Electricity Board was created in 1948 to distribute electricity in Southern England.[6] Whilst the Southern Electricity Board was a distribution only authority, with no power generation capacity of its own, the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric board was a broader spectrum organisation, with its own generating capabilities.[7]

Because of its history and location, the Hydro-Electric Board was responsible for most of the hydroelectric generating capacity in the United Kingdom.[8] Both authorities were privatised in 1990/91, initially retaining their pre privatisation geographic and functional bases. The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board became Scottish Hydro-Electric, whilst the Southern Electricity Board became Southern Electric.[9]

Post privatisationEdit

Scottish and Southern Energy was formed in September 1998, following a merger between Scottish Hydro-Electric and Southern Electric.[10] In August 2000, Scottish and Southern Energy acquired the SWALEC energy supply business.[10] SWALEC operate exclusively in Wales while SSE operates in Scotland and England.[11]

In July 2004, the company acquired the Ferrybridge and Fiddlers Ferry Power Stations for £250 million.[12] In January 2008, it went on to buy Airtricity Holdings, an Irish wind farm business.[13] In August 2009, it agreed to purchase Uskmouth power station from Welsh Power Group Limited.[14] In April 2010, the company purchased the natural gas exploration and production assets of Hess Corporation in three areas of the United Kingdom Continental Shelf – Everest/Lomond, Easington and Bacton.[15]

In January 2010, Scottish and Southern Energy changed the core company branding from Scottish and Southern Energy to SSE.[16]

Separation of retail supply divisionEdit

In November 2017, it was announced that SSE was looking to separate from its retail subsidiary which would then merge with the npower division of rival Innogy.[17] It was planned that SSE shareholders will own 65.6% of the demerged entity and Innogy would hold the remainder.[18] The resulting company would have been listed on the London Stock Exchange and included npower's residential and business retail business, and SSE's residential energy supply and home services business, excluding its business in Ireland. Although the merger received preliminary regulatory clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority on 30 August 2018,[19] and full clearance was given on 10 October 2018,[20] it was abandoned on 17 December 2018, with the companies blaming "very challenging market conditions".[21]

In September 2019, SSE announced that it would be selling its retail business to OVO Energy: the transaction was completed in January 2020.[22]

Swiss holding companyEdit

In November 2019, SSE moved its UK business into a new Swiss holding company, confirming that it had done so following the Labour Party's pledge to take it into state ownership.[23] It said the move was "an additional safeguard, which SSE does not believe would be required in practice, should SSE’s electricity networks businesses and interests in SGN become the subject of proposed legislation for nationalisation." The Labour Party said: "The UK’s energy networks are vital strategic infrastructure on which we all rely. You cannot boil a kettle, heat your home or run a business without the grid. The idea that private owners, who have been ripping off the public, would move offshore in an attempt to prolong the rip-off illustrates just why we need the grid back in public hands."[24]

In August 2021, SSE agreed to sell its 33.3 percent stake in SGN for £1.2 billion.[25]


SSE Thermal operates a series of UK power stations,[26] while SSE Renewables builds and operates onshore and offshore wind farms in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and has hydroelectric operations in Scotland.[27] Jointly owned with American waste management company Wheelabrator Technologies, Multifuel Energy Ltd operates multi-fuel power stations at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire.[28]


Living wageEdit

SSE became the largest officially accredited Living Wage Employer in the United Kingdom in 2013. All its employees across the United Kingdom were guaranteed to receive the then-Living Wage rate of at least £7.85 an hour in 2013.[29]

Fair Tax MarkEdit

In October 2014, SSE became the first company on the FTSE 100 to be awarded the Fair Tax Mark which is an independent accreditation process for identifying companies making an effort to be transparent about their tax affairs.[30]


The company currently sponsors two arenas: the SSE Arena in Belfast[31] and the SSE Arena in London.[32] Until 2021, the company were also the title partner of The SSE Hydro in Glasgow.[33][34]

Regulator actionEdit

In April 2013, industry regulator Ofgem fined SSE £10.5 million for mis-selling gas and electricity.[35]

In September 2020, industry regulator Ofgem fined SSE £2.06 million for failing to publish information about the future availability of its generation capacity in a timely manner. SSE co-operated fully with Ofgem's investigation.[36]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "SSE appoints new chairman, to begin April 2021". S&P Global. 28 July 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  2. ^ Adam Vaughan (16 June 2017). "SSE boss gets 72% pay rise weeks after arguing against cap on bills". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Annual Report 2021" (PDF). SSE. Retrieved 15 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Registered in Scotland No. 117119". Perth: Scottish and Southern Energy plc. Archived from the original on 25 September 2011. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  5. ^ Brodie, Sophie (5 January 2008). "The Scottish utility". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  6. ^ a b Katzarov, Konstantin (6 December 2012). Theory of Nationalization. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9789401510554.
  7. ^ "In pictures: 70 years of Scottish hydro power". BBC. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  8. ^ Clegg, H. A.; Chester, T. E. (September 1953). "The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board". Public Administration. 31 (3): 213–234. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9299.1953.tb01689.x.
  9. ^ Osborne, Alistair (8 April 2013). "Margaret Thatcher: one policy that led to more than 50 companies being sold or privatised". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  10. ^ a b "SSE plc – The UK's broadest-based energy company". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Scottish & Southern Energy (SSE) Contact Number". Utility Talk. 11 July 2014. Retrieved 13 April 2017.
  12. ^ "Scottish & Southern buys Fiddlers Ferry – Business News – Business". The Independent. 30 July 2004. Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  13. ^ Robbins, Mathieu (4 January 2008). "Scottish & Southern to buy Irish windfarm firm". Reuters – via
  14. ^ "SSE plc – The UK's broadest-based energy company". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  15. ^ Kennedy, Simon (1 April 2010). "Scottish & Southern buys Hess assets for $423 mln". MarketWatch. Retrieved 1 April 2010.
  16. ^ "First press release with new branding". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011.
  17. ^ Vaughan, Adam (7 November 2017). "SSE and npower in talks to create giant UK energy supplier". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  18. ^ Thomas, Nathalie (8 November 2017). "SSE and Npower agree to combine household supply businesses". Financial Times. The Nikkei. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  19. ^ Vaughan, Adam (30 August 2018). "Npower-SSE merger wins go-ahead from competition watchdog". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  20. ^ "Competition watchdog clears SSE-Npower merger". BBC News. 10 October 2018. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Energy giants abandon merger plan". BBC News. 17 December 2018.
  22. ^ "SSE sale of retail business to Ovo creates new UK energy giant". BBC News. 13 September 2019. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  23. ^ "Holding company for SSEN". SSE. 24 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  24. ^ "Power firms move ownership offshore to 'protect against Labour renationalisation'". The Guardian. 24 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  25. ^ Cameron, Greig (2 August 2021). "SSE to sell stake in SGN for £1.2bn". The Times. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  26. ^ "Huge green power station proposed by SSE as it embraces hydrogen and carbon capture". Business Live. 22 June 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  27. ^ "Who we are". SSE Renewables. Retrieved 25 November 2020.
  28. ^ "Multifuel Energy Limited: Annual Report" (PDF). Companies House. 31 March 2019. Retrieved 4 November 2020.
  29. ^ "Energy firm SSE signs up as living wage employer". BBC. 27 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  30. ^ "SSE leads way in campaign for fairer taxation". The Herald. 19 October 2014. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  31. ^ "Odyssey complex becomes SSE Arena in cost cutting exercise". The Ulster Fry. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Wembley Arena to be renamed". The Guardian. 10 April 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2018.
  33. ^ "Glasgow's Hydro venue renamed ahead of COP26". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  34. ^ Murphy, Sean (14 October 2021). "Glasgow's SSE Hydro is given brand new name ahead of fans returning". Daily Record. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  35. ^ "SSE fined record £10.5m by Ofgem". BBC. 3 April 2013. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
  36. ^ "Ofgem fines SSE £2.06 million for failing to publish inside information about the wholesale energy market". Ofgem. 3 September 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2020.

External linksEdit